Scott Servais: Mariners have ‘outstanding’ depth, can compete with anybody

Mar 16, 2022, 10:34 AM

Mariners Mitch Haniger Servais...

Scott Servais, Tom Murphy and Mitch Haniger react after a Mariners' win over the Angels on Oct. 2, 2021. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Mariners enter 2022 with very high expectations after a 90-win season in 2021, and their manager is very much looking forward to the upcoming season.

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Scott Servais, who finished second in American League Manager of the Year voting in 2021 and is back for his seventh year in Seattle, joined Seattle Sports’ Mike Salk Show for a long and in-depth interview, and the first part of that interview aired Wednesday morning (the rest will air on Thursday’s show).

Servais said he has a smile on his face right now both because baseball is back and because of how excited he is about his team, which has added a reigning Cy Young winner and three All-Star bats to the lineup.

“I smile driving to the ballpark and probably a little bit bigger when I drive home every night (after) getting a chance to see kind of what we put together,” he said.

The Mariners were maybe the biggest surprise in baseball last year, going 90-72 and staying in the playoff race until the final game of the season. That has naturally caused a lot of buzz not just within the Mariners organization but in the fan base, as well.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get over the hump and get into the playoffs, but we took another big step forward,” Servais said about the 2021 season. “Now with the offseason and the additions we have to our ballclub, seeing those guys come into camp and the core of our group coming back, those guys ready to take the next step. I think they got a little taste of it, what Seattle baseball fans are all about that last weekend (of the 2021 season) and it’s something that we’re looking forward to. And hopefully they come out and support us all year.”

So what should we know about the 2022 Mariners?

“I said it (before), last year’s team was the funnest group of guys that I’ve ever had to manage, and very resilient as we had the ups and downs of the season along the way,” he said. ” … So what excites me most about this team? I think on paper right now, certainly what we’ve done here in the last day or so helping our offense, we’re a good team on paper. I think we are we can compete with anybody in the league and do quite well. I’m really curious to see how this team comes together. Every team kind of has its own identity, so to speak, and who are gonna be the leaders? Who are gonna be guys that step up? Who’s the guy who’s gonna come out of nowhere to have the great season?”

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Something else that excites Servais about the Mariners is the team’s depth.

“I think our depth is outstanding, the best it’s been since we’ve been here,” said Servais, who arrived in Seattle along with general manager Jerry Dipoto ahead of the 2016 season.

That could be key as the Mariners finished 2021 with a minus-51 run differential thanks in large part to being very, very good in close games. Should we expect some regression in that regard, especially with a bullpen that was stellar last year?

“So will there be regression? That could be,” Servais said. “On paper, I believe we have a very good team. What is the win-loss record? What are the projections? It doesn’t matter to me. We’ve got to play the games. That’s the beauty of the season. But I feel really, really good about this club.”

Listen to the first part of Servais’ interview at this link or in the player below, and listen to The Mike Salk Show on Thursday to hear the second part.

More from Mariners spring training on

Drayer: Why M’s made trade with Reds, what it means for lineup
New Mariners OF Jesse Winker: “We’re gonna be really good”
Mitch Haniger: M’s want to have a team “that gets the city excited”
Mariners spring training radio schedule on Seattle Sports 710 AM

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Scott Servais: Mariners have ‘outstanding’ depth, can compete with anybody